Since 1996, employer-provided plans have been barred from dropping or excluding anyone based on a pre-existing condition. Nor does Medicare or Medicaid.
The pre-existing conditions problem affects about 2 million people in the individual market. The best options for these sick people are being closed because of ObamaCare.
In 35 states, they currently get coverage through high-risk pools, where premiums are subsidized to help keep them within reach. Most of these pools have long waiting lists.
But high-risk pools must close on Dec. 31, 2013, or shortly after, because the Affordable Care Act directs ill patients to enroll in ObamaCare exchange plans.
The problem is, most exchange plans severely limit their choice of hospitals and doctors, excluding academic hospitals and specialty cancer centers. State insurance commissioners are scrambling to delay closing the high-risk pools.
The high-risk pools are an honest way to subsidize care for the sick, and they've worked for twenty-five years. ObamaCare replaces them with a devious method — luring young, healthy people into exchange plans at premiums far higher than their own cost of care to offset the cost of the sick in the same pool. Exchange plans are a rip-off for the young and a dangerous downgrade for the sick.